Hey folks! I’m back with another trekking story of the Shivaji Trails Series. And guess where have we recently been to?
If you’ve followed our trekking story for a while now, you’d know we had a long history with Visapur Fort. We tried to conquer it twice and failed miserably. But this time, luck was on our side, and we powered through the rough trail and made it to the top! Woohoo! Yes, we did!
Visapur Fort located near Visapur Village, 2.5 km from Malavli Railway Station in Pune District, Maharashtra, India. It has an elevation of 1,084 meters above sea level and situated right next to its twin fort, Lohagad Fort.
The first time we tried to climb up Visapur Fort, we scrambled through the woods and got completely lost. We even got injured from the sharp spiky shrubs that covered every inch of the woods. And it had been a mystery to us where and how to get to the top of Visapur Fort.
There was a quiet rumor (or maybe the truth) that there were two trails to get to Visapur Fort— 1) from Lohagad side where you can climb up the waterfall to the top and 2) from Bhaja Cave, through the jungle and you will find the stone steps to the entrance of the fort. The later was still a secret to us. We couldn’t find it even after talking to the locals and the fellow trekkers.
We drove out of the city early morning, made our way through the Old Pune-Mumbai Highway. At Karla, we turned right toward Malavli. We stopped for breakfast here, had a plateful of omelet and Pav, a plate hot Misal Pav that gave a little heat to my stomach, and some Kanda Bhaji (Onion Fritters). A few cups of hot tea were very comforting. We asked the restaurant to pack us some food because we were sure that there wouldn’t be anyone selling food or drinking water on the top of the fort.
After we crossed Malavli Railway Station, we continued to Bhaja Cave where we parked our car and trekked on foot to Lohagad. To be honest here, at first, we didn’t want to trek to Lohagad because we had been there twice and couldn’t find the way up to the fort except that waterfall climbing way people were talking about. I didn’t think that, with a 6 years old kid, we should/would be in that trail. We aimed for the trail from Bhaja Cave to Visapur via the jungle, but couldn’t seem to find it.
A small waterfall on the way from Bhaja Cave to Lohagad. This is not where we climbed up. We went to a place far more adventurous.
The road from Bhaja Cave to Lohagad is good, comfortable and scenic, but we kept looking for an obvious trail that would take us through the jungle and somehow landed in Visapur Fort like how we thought. Things never really turned out quite like we planned in this trip though because after talking to the locals, we realized the only way we should try was climbing the waterfall, and even then, they told us it might not be possible with a kid. We were discouraged a little. Not again! I couldn’t believe this would be the third time we failed to go on the top of this fort.
But it was a beautiful day, and we thought we should at least check out the waterfall. And if it’s doable, we would go for it.
45 minutes from Bhaja Cave, we reached Lohagad. It was an easy walk on the road, but the views along the way were beautiful. We turned left toward Visapur Fort, where we saw from far away.
The trail was super muddy and slippery. We tried to avoid sinking our feet into the mud, but it’s only so little we could avoid. I loved the air though—so fresh and earthy.
After walking in the muddy trail for a while, we met a junction where a small food shack is tucked between the woods. We stopped here to ask for direction and ended up having Chai and Maggi. The shopkeeper actually made us feel a bit better when he told us in a confident tone that Yaseeen could very well handle this waterfall trail.
In the beginning of the trail, we walked in a narrow path surrounded by the thick forest. I should warn you right now that the tiny mosquitoes in this forest are fierce, and they bites are excruciating! Do carry a bottle of bugs pray in this kind of trip. We had nasty rashes all over our legs after we finished the trek, and till now (5 days later), they haven’t been completely healed yet.
The trail became very narrow and twisted as we moved forward. Tall trees and thick bushes were on both sides.
Before we reached the waterfall, we found water storage inside the mountain. It was fresh and clear.
At the waterfall, my first thought was… hey, that doesn’t look that difficult at all! There was a cable on the side to hang on to. We decided to give it a go all the way through.
Well, it was fun! Really fun! Imagine the different challenges to make it to the top, the stones to climb and the cooling water splashing on the side.
And as we moved up, the majestic view slowly came to greet us.
But then half way through this journey, we understood that we underestimated this trail. It got tougher, more slippery, steeper and harder to climb.
But even that wasn’t as hard as what we had experienced from Rajgad Fort and Torna Fort.
We were careful and helpped Yaseen making his small steps.
And hooray! We made it!
Time to explore. The massive plain on the top of the mountain is where Visapur is situated. I loved the beautiful wildflowers on top of the plateau.
We watched Lohagad Fort being swallowed by the thick cloud on the other side.
Visapur Fort is magnificent!
We strolled on the green grass, and it started to rain a little. I loved the air up their.
There were small streams everywhere, joining and creating the waterfalls on the cliff.
And the flowers in the shade of violet were so gorgeous.
Different types of plants and tiny flowers bloomed all over the place.
The ponds were filled with fresh rain.
Flowers were growing from the cracks of the rocks.
We marched along the fort, and it kind of made us feeling like royalties.
We could spend all day up here.
There are many things/places to see and explore.
At some point when the rain got heavier, the mist claimed the sky.
And we loved it when the whole plateau turned into the mysterious paradise.
And we kept telling ourselves how lucky we were to be able to come up here.
To see such boastful structures.
And to be so close to the sky.
We had lunch when we realized time flew by so quickly.
Now to climb down from the fort, as always, go slow and be extra careful. That’s the rule.
And that’s a story of how we conquered Visapur Fort! So proud. Now, where’s next?
Tes (tweet to me at @Testerfly)